UPDATE: Family contacted after bereavement box washes up at May Day Park

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 4:37 PM PST|Updated: Jan. 24, 2023 at 4:35 PM PST
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UPDATE: The mystery of a box containing keepsakes and remains of an infant which was found on a Daphne beach this weekend has been solved.

After word spread through traditional and social media Monday of what appeared to be a bereavement box being found at May Day Park, the Daphne Police Department got a call, putting them in touch with the family of the child.

A fisherman found the light blue box at the water’s edge Sunday afternoon and called it in. Investigators said the mother had gone to the park Sunday intending to do a burial at sea ceremony, intending the box to be taken out into the bay. Instead, it drifted to the shore to later be found.

After seeing the box on the news, police said the phone conversation was a tough one for the family.

“Very emotional,” said Sgt. Jason Vannoy with Daphne PD. “We had an extended conversation on the phone this morning and everything makes sense to us so there’s certainly no mystery there. It is unfortunately a very emotional situation for that family.”

The case is now closed. Police said the family is deciding what to do next.

In the meantime, Daphne PD will hold onto the remains of the baby boy.



DAPHNE, Ala. (WALA) - Daphne Police have a mystery on their hands and hope someone can help them solve it. What appears to be a bereavement box was found by a fisherman Sunday, January 22, 2023 washed up on the shore at May Day Park. He and police investigators now hope to return it to the parents.

Alan Nabors loves to fish so much even the rain didn’t deter him from driving to May Day Park Sunday afternoon to wet a line. Nabors hadn’t even made it onto the pier when it appeared luck was on his side. In the sand, at the water’s edge sat a light blue box.

“Seen a blue box and was like, okay. A free tackle box, you know. You know, your loss, my gain,” Nabors recalled saying to himself.

Nabors was exited to share his find with friends on social media and began recording as he opened the box.

“Found a little box for a boat maybe,” Nabors said as he pushed the lid open. “And going to close it the (expletive) up right now. Nope. Not today.”

What Nabors found inside wasn’t fishing tackle, but an urn, baby blanket and other keepsakes commonly found in a bereavement box. He called Daphne Police and an investigation began. Police said the most likely scenario is that the box was a memorial to a stillborn child, but how and why the box ended up on the eastern shore is unknown.

“There are so many things that could have happened,” said Heather DeAngelo with Daphne Police. “Could it have come from floodwaters? Somebody’s home got flooded and it floated out. Could somebody have thrown it off the Bayway? I mean, there’s just no telling.”

There’s not enough identifying information to narrow things down much, only the name of a Tennessee hospital. The possibilities of how it ended up on Daphne shores are numerous. Nabors just hopes his find ends up in a happy reunion.

“It’s not every day that you find a tackle box that’s got a baby in it, so you know, need to…I don’t know, need to do something about it,” Nabors said. “People…need to find them, you know. They’re probably looking for it.”

Anyone with information that can help solve the mystery is asked to call Daphne Police. Typically, evidence is held for up to a year. Investigators hope this mystery is solved much sooner but say under these circumstances, they could hold onto it longer if needed.


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